Carlton "Carly" Barrett was
the originator of the one drop rhythm, a percussive drumming style. An
essential member of the Wailers since 1969, Carly co-wrote "Talkin' Blues"
and performed on every Wailer album since. With Carly's beats and his
brother Aston's bass, the Wailer rhythm section planted the seeds of today's
"Field Marshal," as he liked to be called, is indeed the marshal of the one
drop rhythm who kept the Wailers steady in his own militant style.
Carly was born in Jamaica in 1950. As a teenager he built his first set of
drums out of some empty paint tins, and had initially been influenced by
Lloyd Nibbs, the great drummer from the Skatalites. He and his brother Aston
were raised in Kingston and absorbed the emerging "ska" sound. The Barrett
brothers came to prominence with their band the Hippy Boys. They began
working with Lee "Scratch" Perry, and recorded an international hit, "Return
of Django," under the name the Upsetters.
The brothers teamed up with the Wailers in 1969-70 for several singles: "My
Cup (Runneth Over)," Duppy Conqueror," Soul Rebel," and Small Axe." These
songs became part of a double LP set that Perry released: Soul Rebels and
Soul Revolution, and formed the early foundation of the one drop sound.